by Michael Hoffman
The Babylonian Talmud was burned in France in the thirteenth century by the Roman Catholic authorities after a series of debates between Nicholas Donin, a Judaic convert to Catholicism, and Rabbi Yechiel, the head of the Paris yeshiva (Talmud school), Rabbi Moshe of Coucy, Rabbi Yehuda of Melon and Rabbi Shmuel of Chateu-Thierry.
Donin asserted the following points in the debate:
1. Rabbinic emphasis on the sanctity of their own Oral nullifies the Law of God found in the Bible.
2. The Talmud fosters anti-goy and anti-Christian bigotry.
3. The Talmud blasphemes Jesus Christ.
The rabbis offered the following counter-points:
1. Maintained the need for a book of commentary that would clarify Scripture.
2. Pointed to willful distortion of the Talmud's alleged anti-goy and anti-Christian passages.
3. Asserted that the Jesus mentioned in the Talmud was another Jesus, one who had lived prior to the time of Jesus of Nazareth.
The rabbis lost the debate. Pope Gregory IX approved the order of King St. Louis IX (1214-1270) for the burning of 24 cartloads of Talmud volumes.
Gregory's successor, Pope Innocent IV, continued to approve the practice. He stated to King Louis IX: "The rabbis in their Talmud throw away and despise the Law of Moses and the prophets and follow some tradition of their elders....The regents of Paris read the above-named book of abuse and these which have been examined and condemned by them should, at your order, be burned in the fire wherever they an be found, throughout your kingdom."
On p. 75 of the July 1, 2011 issue of "5Towns Jewish Times," a New York newspaper for Orthodox Judaics, Harav Nosson Dovid Rabinowich revels, as usual, in his religion's penchant for revenge. He gloats as follows:
"However, the Jewish people have their sweet revenge...I was recently delivering shiurim (Talmud lessons) in Basel, Switzerland and was invited to visit a successful yeshiva ketanah and gedolah and thriving Jewish community right over the border, in France, between Mulhouse and Basel. That town is called Saint Louis and its patron is King Louis IX! The beautiful sounds of Gemara (Talmud) reverberate daily throughout this little town. Once again, Hashem has kept His promise: 'He will bring retribution upon his foes!”